Waiters at American restaurant chain TGI Friday’s who are members of the trade union Unite, are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over the organisation’s tip policy and minimum wage non-compliance.
Waiters who work at TGI Friday’s Covent Garden and Milton Keynes branches will be balloted between Wednesday 18 April 2018 and Tuesday 1 May 2018. Unite plans to ballot employees in two restaurants a week from Friday 13 April 2018.
According to Unite, the dispute regards TGI Friday’s taking 40% of waiters’ tips from card payments and redistributing them to kitchen staff in lieu of providing a pay rise, the use of unpaid trial shifts and minimum wage non-compliance.
TGI Friday’s ranked third on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) March 2018 minimum wage non-compliance list for failing to pay 2,302 employees a total of £59,347.64.
To mark the start of member balloting, a protest is to be held tomorrow (Friday 13 April 2018) at TGI Friday’s’ Covent Garden restaurant from 6.30pm.
TGI Friday’s has 83 restaurants across the UK.
Dave Turnbull, regional officer at Unite, said: “Our members are bravely fighting back against a system that forces [employees] to live on low pay and without income security. They have decided to ballot for strike action in a wave of rolling strike ballots over the coming months because their employer has refused to address their concerns on tips and other issues. Unite is proud to support them.
“The ballot of TGI Friday’s [employees] comes just days after [employees] at fast food giant McDonald’s decided to ballot for further industrial action at six stores, building on their historic strike last September.
“Standing up for your rights and challenging bad practice is hard when the threat of having your shifts cut or losing your job looms over you. It takes courage to fight back, which is why these TGI Friday’s [employees] and the McStrikers deserve our respect.”
TGI Friday’s is unavailable for comment at time of publication.